Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Give Me an Inch...or a Mile.

With all my thinking about self-discipline, time management, and extra hours in a day of late, it was bound to lead me to some fruitful conclusions. The other day a lovely acquaintance of mine with whom I had actually lost touch contacted me through my blog and said that she and her husband have finally agreed that it's time to start homeschooling their five children, and wanted to know if we could get together and chat.  I prayed before she came.  I wanted to have the right words to encourage her in her decision.  In that prayer it seemed that all of those meditations I've been having and writing about came together.  It came together something like this:

 With the best of intentions, I try to get what I think should be done by XX date, and suffer the consequences of trying to make the zero sum equation add up to something.  There is that temptation to do things in my own strength. I deceive myself by comparing myself to everyone else who appears to be doing better than I, and holding myself to standards that belong to others.  Then I am left to dodge the accusations that the enemy throws at me telling me that it's not enough, I'm not enough, that I will never quite measure up.  They don't have to be big lies...just the little ones that slither through my brain like the little back yard snakes my kids like to catch. 
But here's what I told my friend, and ultimately myself.  I have an overarching goal for homeschooling my children.  It is the big picture goal of how I want this to turn out.  I have no idea what tomorrow holds, but this I know--I have set my hand to the task of raising and educating my children.  Every day we move a bit further toward that goal.  One day we may move an inch in the right direction, and other days we may move a mile, and some days we may even find ourselves at a standstill.  Even so, we never, ever move backward.  Never.  When I compare myself to others who seem to be great homeschoolers, I forget that they are moving targets and are probably doing the same thing!  What chaos that creates!  Imagine a whole mass of people all attempting to get a look at each other and no one is standing still for a second!  There is only one point of comparison that I have to make--am I becoming more like Jesus?  Am I raising my children to be more like him?  He is the only fixed point on a map entirely made of desert lands, where everything is constantly shifting.  When I am focused on the task at hand, and the one who enables me to accomplish that task, then I have not failed.  If every day ordained for me was known before the foundation of the world (Psalm 139), and I didn't get something on my list done, then it wasn't in his plan, and his is the one that matters.

Thank God for the peace of knowing that each day was ordained by him with just the right number of hours, the freedom not to compare, and the joy of being enough for my children, completely equipped by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission of building their home and guiding their hearts.

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